NTT IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden has a surprise race on his personal bucket list

Autoweek asked Newgarden what races or series might be on the two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion’s personal bucket list. 

Josef Newgarden knows firsthand what it’s like to take on some of the most incredible racing venues in America.

Sure, there’s little he can compare to the magic of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and he’s won races at places including the street course at Belle Isle in Detroit and the historic road course at Mid-Ohio.

On Tuesday, Autoweek asked Newgarden what other races or series might be on the two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion’s personal bucket list. And the 28-year-old Newgarden, after he rattled off a few of those races likely on a lot of racers’ list, tossed us a curveball that we didn’t see coming.

“Le Mans is on my list,” Newgarden said. “The 24 Hours of Daytona—pretty much all of the endurance races for IMSA are on my list.”

Then the Tennessee native fired his curveball.

“I’d love to do some NASCAR stuff, to be honest with you,” Newgarden said. “I really enjoy the NASCAR stuff. I want to do Bristol. I want to do the Bristol Night Race. There’s more, but that’s No. 1. If get to choose, it’d be the Bristol Night Race.

“What makes it so great is that there’s nothing like Bristol. Even if you’re not from Bristol, Bristol looks awesome. I wish we could run an Indy car at Bristol. But you just can’t. I’ve tried it on a simulator. People would pass out.”

Newgarden was in Detroit on Tuesday to help kick off the start of ticket sales for the 2020 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear IndyCar doubleheader weekend set for May 30-31. He also visited the Breithaupt Career and Technical Center in Detroit to meet with automotive students and talk about the technology and science of racing.

“I’ve been trying to add races to my calendar for many years now, going on eight years,” Newgarden said. “At some point, I hope the opportunity will come up where I can put multiple events together outside of IndyCar. It’s not been possible up to this point, unfortunately, but beggars can’t be choosers. I have an amazing opportunity with Team Penske. I still get to run the entire IndyCar Series, which is a big deal.

“My focus is there. That is my job. That is what Roger has hired me for—to win the Indy 500 and win the championship in IndyCar.”

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